Craven, John Harold, CAPT

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Chaplain Christian
Last Primary NEC
410X-Chaplain Corps Officer
Last Rating/NEC Group
Staff Corps Officer
Primary Unit
1968-1973, 410X, HQMC (Henderson Hall)
Service Years
1942 - 1973
Chaplain Christian

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

7 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sheila Rae Myers, HM3 to remember Craven, John Harold, CAPT.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Cape Girardeau, MO
Last Address
McClean, VA

Date of Passing
Apr 10, 2001
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
2 E-65 LH

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

Navy Officer Honorable Discharge

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Captain Craven's miltary career began as an enlisted man in the United States Marine Corps. He enlisted in the Marines instead of going to college. He was trained at Parris Island, SC. Wanting to apply to the US Naval Academy and having been told any experience on ships would be helpful, he requested and was sent to the Sea School for Marines at the naval shipyard in Portsmouth, VA. He then spent 18 months on the USS New Mexico. While there, he gave more thought to attending college and, since he couldn't get into the Navy Academy so easily, the Marine Corps granted him a special discharge so he could attend the college of his choice.

It was while in the Marines he gave thought to the idea of going into the mnistry, so he went to various schools to reach that goal. He spent six years after his ordination - two while serving out his time in the US Marine Corps Reserve - as a civilain Baptist minister. As will be seen by reading other parts of this profile, his Marine Corps and shipboard training would come in handy once he joined the Navy as a chaplain. Most of his war time combat service was spent with Marine Corps.

In 1974, Captain Craven moved to Okinawa on a one-year assignment from the Foreign Missionaries Board of the Baptist Church. He then relocated to Virginia Beach. Until 1989, he was director of Christian Social Ministries for the Norfolk Baptist Association.

In 1995, Captain Craven returned to Iwo Jima to participate in dedication ceremonies for a monument to the Americans and Japanese who had fought there 50 years earlier. After leading a prayer, he embraced a former Japanese army captain who had since become a Buddhist priest. Later he wrote of the experience: "Before leaving the beach and the spot where our command post had been, I photographed a small green plant with a small red bloom. To me it represented the hopes and dreams for peace rising out of the  blood-soaked sands of Iwo Jima."
Other Comments:

There are no current citations available for the medals listed. The Bronze Stars and Legion of Merit Awards are listed as part of the service record recorded in the digital collection of the William Madison Randall Library as part of the Military Chaplains in the USA collection. The Silver Star is listed at the web site.

The information contained in this profile was compiled from various internet sources.
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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Naval Chaplaincy School and Center (Staff)CNO - OPNAV4th Marine DivisionMCB Camp Pendleton CA
US NavyUSS Cambria (APA-36)USS Mount Olympus (AGC-8)MCRD Parris Island, SC
2nd Marine Division1st Marine DivisionBureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS)USS Coral Sea (CVA-43)
NAS Atsugi MCB Quantico, VANational Naval Medical Center (NNMC) Bethesda, MDMARFORPAC/FMFPAC
9th Naval DistrictHQMC (Henderson Hall)
  1942-1942, 410X, Naval Chaplaincy School and Center (Staff)
  1942-1943, 410X, CNO - OPNAV
  1943-1945, 410X, 4th Marine Division
  1945-1946, 410X, MCB Camp Pendleton CA
  1946-1947, 410X, USS Okaloosa (APA-219)
  1947-1947, 410X, USS Cambria (APA-36)
  1947-1948, 410X, USS Mount Olympus (AGC-8)
  1948-1950, 410X, MCRD Parris Island, SC
  1950-1950, 410X, 2nd Marine Division
  1950-1951, 410X, 1st Marine Division
  1951-1954, 410X, Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS)
  1954-1955, 410X, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43)
  1956-1959, 410X, NAS Atsugi
  1959-1962, 410X, BMC Quantico VA, MCB Quantico, VA
  1962-1964, 410X, National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) Bethesda, MD
  1964-1967, 410X, MARFORPAC/FMFPAC
  1967-1968, 410X, 9th Naval District
  1968-1973, 410X, HQMC (Henderson Hall)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1943 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Marshall Islands Operation
  1944-1944 Marshall Islands Operation (1944)/Battle of Roi-Namur Island
  1944-1944 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Saipan
  1944-1944 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Tinian
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Iwo Jima Operation
  1950-1950 Korean War/UN Offensive (1950)/Inchon Landing/Operation Chromite
  1950-1950 Korean War/UN Offensive (1950)/Operation Wonson
  1950-1950 Korean War/CCF Intervention (1950-51)/Chosin Reservoir (Battle of Changjin)
  1951-1951 Korean War/CCF Intervention (1950-51)
 Colleges Attended 
William Jewell CollegeHarvard University
  1935-1937, Southwest Baptist University
  1937-1939, William Jewell College
  1955-1956, Harvard University
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Apr 18, 1937, Ordained as a Baptist minister
  Jul 28, 1940, Married Betty May Smith
  Sep 24, 1942, Commissioned in the Navy at the Rank of Lieutenant (jg)
  May 16, 1943, Former Marine Joins Corps of Chaplains at Sampson1
  Jan 01, 1944, Promoted to Lieutenant
  Jan 01, 1946, Promoted to Lieutenant Commander
  Jul 01, 1954, Promoted to Commander
  Jul 01, 1961, Promoted to Captain
  Sep 12, 2017, US Marine Corps service dates
  Sep 12, 2017, General Photos
 Military Association Memberships
WW II Memorial National RegistryUnited States Navy Memorial
  2017, WW II Memorial National Registry
  2017, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
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